Winter 2016 Mini Bloggiesta


I'm signing up for this Mini Bloggiesta, which is this weekend, January 16th - 17th. I have a lighter schedule than I normally do and am hoping to get a few things done while I can and then hopefully just maintain. If you're interested, you can sign up here.

UPDATES

Redesign

I'm starting a little early for this one as it doesn't officially begin until tomorrow, but instead of waiting until February 1st to update my blog, I'm going to start now. So, if you see things a little out of whack - it's because the site is under construction this weekend. Feel free to let me know what you think about the new design. Here's the old one vs the new one:

 
(old)

(new)

Too much white? It does look clean though and I love the sticky menu bar up top. I might play around with my logo a little more, but otherwise I'm happy with it. I had made so many adjustments to my blog over the past that some things weren't working like they should have. It was nice to kind of wipe it clean. I didn't finish parts of the redesign until Sunday, so it took a few days.

Cleaning My Email

I took my to-do-list item of cleaning up my email and completing a mini challenge and combined them. I took Aloi from Guiltless Reading: Clean Up Your Email challenge and ran through her items. I used what applied to me, but in a simpler form since I don't use Gmail for my personal blog (I do for Prism Book Tours, but the email is clean and I keep right on top of it). 

I now have "Respond Now," "Respond Soon," and "Newsletters" folders so that each day I can delete and then sort into these folders and then go through things. If I don't end up having time to read the newsletters (bloglovin email, newsletters from bloggers I follow, and ebook deals) then it isn't a big deal to delete the emails in that folder and I don't have to go through them again. The other folders will tell me what I need to respond to that morning and what I can respond to later in the day. Then I can see right away what is coming in and not miss anything. Amazingly I've done fairly well at not missing important stuff and keeping on track of tours, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that I keep a calendar so I know when I've signed up for tours or said I would review something, etc.

So, once I set the folder up I still had to face my monster of an inbox. You really don't want to see it (really I'm a little mortified at showing you), but here is my before (I whited out some spots for privacy): 
You can see that my inbox shows 2,902 unread messages (not all of these were actually unread, but I would leave them unread if I meant to come back to them later - yeah that really worked) and a ton of flagged messages (some of them very old). So I spent hours today going through them all today. I was determined that it would be cleaned up and I would maintain. So, here's what my inbox looks like now:
Yes! 10 in my inbox - all of which I will respond to tonight. I have quite a few review requests to still go through, but they are in my folder waiting for me. They're actually part of my inbox problem because I feel bad sometimes not accepting reviews or sometimes I might like a book, but it's hard to know so I leave it to come back to later, but then I never come back to it. Terrible, I know. No more though. I responded to several today and I'm going to stay on top of them. It looks beautiful though, doesn't it?!! :D

The rest of the items I got done, you can see below. I'll cross them out as I get them done.

GOALS

Since it's only two days, I'm not going to be overly optimistic. This is what I'm hoping to get finished (adapted from the master list):

Bloggiesta To-Do List

write two reviews
❏ update my reviews page for December (still working on - my redesign and email took a ton of time)
❏ update Goodreads reviews from December (still working on this one as well)
complete one mini challenge
update the Kindle ebooks widget on my sidebar (removed for now)
get email cleaned out at least back through December 1st
❏ update my Amazon button (started the design for this and will have it finished soon)
comment on other Bloggiesta participants' blogs (at least 10)
participate in the Twitter chat (Sunday at 2 pm EST - noon where I am)

Any thoughts?

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